Really too tired to blog tonight. The roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin went on longer than I thought it would. I wouldn't be posting tonight/this morning but Marcia made a good point about Julian Assange so I'm posting the video above. Please make a point to stream it.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday.
Thursday, December 16, 2021. The persecution of Julian Assange continues as an unsuspecting Caroline Kennedy stumbles into the fray and water issues in Iraq increase.
Starting with the continued persecution of Julian Assange. Julian is an Australian citizen. Australia's former Minster of Foreign Affairs Bob Carr has called out the persecution and the lack of action on the part of Australia.
Last June, Rob Harris (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD) reported:
Former security analyst turned federal Labor MP Peter Khalil has joined a group of Australian politicians directly lobbying the United States to drop an appeal over a British court’s ruling against the extradition of the WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange.
In a video message to US President Joe Biden released on Wednesday evening Australian time, 11 federal MPs from across the political spectrum have also appealed to Washington to drop its espionage charges against the Australian citizen and for the British government to allow him to return home.
Before entering politics Mr Khalil, the member for the Victorian seat of Wills, was director of National Security Policy of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. As a national security adviser to former prime minister Kevin Rudd, he was personally named in diplomatic cables sent to Washington by the US Embassy, which were later released by Wikileaks.
While he has previously criticised Mr Assange’s actions in helping obtain and leak classified information on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Mr Khalil said the case was “not just about one individual”.
“In an era where rising authoritarian regimes are denying and attacking freedom of the press, such as the shut down of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily by the Chinese Community Party, it is more important than ever that when it comes to condemning the denial of press freedom the rhetoric of liberal democracies is actually matched with substantive actions to protect the right of journalists and the media to do their work freely to hold governments to account,” Mr Khalil said.
Into the fray stumbles Caroline Kennedy. US President Joe Biden has nominated her to be the US Ambassador to Australia. She's ready to drag the family name further into the mud? She's never done a damn thing to actually improve the family name. She sits on her millions and waits for freebies.
She wanted to be a US Senator . . . if it could be handed to her. If she could be named the replacement for Hillary Clinton and then run after as the incumbent, she wanted it. She didn't want it enough to compete for it in a race -- not before or since. But if she can be handed something -- because of her name, not because of any accomplishments -- greedy Caroline's going to grab it.
An /author,' Caroline assembles clip jobs that she passes off as books and makes herself availalbe for fawning media interviews to promote them (and enrich herself). She once helped write two book swith Ellen Alderman -- the first of which was IN OUR DEFENSE: THE BILL OF RIGHTS IN ACTION. Now most people know Ellen did the real work on those two books but does Caroline feel any need to even pretend she grasps The Bill of Rights? And if so, why is she not speaking out on behalf of Julian Assange.
Oh, that's right. She's never done a damn thing in her life. Not anything good. She was a huge disappointment to her mother and that started the minute Caroline whored the family name to try to become a journalist. She wasn't qualified for any assignement and her writing was plodding. But using her name and lying that she was a huge fan of Elvis Presley and wanted to represent the Kennedy family at his funeral, she crashed the funeral and then wrote her tacky piece (intended to be tacky from the start) for ROLLING STONE.
For most people, that would be the death knell for their public life. Not Caroline. The media's worked over time to make her 'smart' and 'strong' and 'courageous.' Until she was trying to grab the NY Seante seat most people were unaware of her 'interesting' marriage and the affairs she had had and was then having. I see even WIKIPEDIA has to note the 'strange' marriage (though not the affairs -- check the archives, we went over all of it when she was trying to steal that senate seat) though they date that to a 2015 60 MINUTES report -- it was known years and years before.
SHe's lived off her father's name and pretended the world owed her something. Unlike her brother, she never showed any interest in justice for her father. The only thing she's ever wanted is money, money and more money.
Fine, Caroline. But public face it for once. Admit you don't give a damn about The Bill of Rights or the rights of the press. Admit you don't give a damn about Julian Assange. You are and always have been out for yourself.
Caroline, looks like you mis-stepped again. Another easy, unearned post was going to get you news coverage. This time, your father's name might not keep the press easy and sweet.
Nowhere in its 27-page decision about Assange’s custodial treatment after extradition to the U.S. did the High Court mention the CIA plot to kidnap and assassinate Assange.
In 2017, WikiLeaks exposed the CIA’s hacking system of electronic surveillance and cyber warfare called “Vault 7.” The CIA called the exposé “the largest data loss in CIA history.” Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s CIA director, labeled WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” CIA and administrative officials made “secret war plans” to kidnap and even kill Assange, according to an explosive Yahoo! News report published two months before the High Court ruling. Senior CIA and administration officials sought “sketches” and “options” for assassinating Assange. Trump himself “asked whether the CIA could assassinate Assange and provide him ‘options’ for how to do so,” the report says.
Two days before the High Court ruling,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared at the so-called Summit for Democracy, “Media freedom plays an indispensable role in informing the public, holding governments accountable, and telling stories that otherwise would not be told. The U.S. will continue to stand up for the brave and necessary work of journalists around the world.”
But by vigorously pursuing Assange’s extradition, the U.S. is doing precisely the opposite. The prosecution of Assange is the first time a journalist has been indicted under the Espionage Act for publishing truthful information. The United States has never prosecuted a journalist or news outlet for publishing classified information. If Assange is tried, convicted and imprisoned for doing what journalists routinely do, it will send a chilling message to journalists that they publish material critical of the U.S. government at their peril.
“If extradited to the US, Julian Assange could not only face trial on charges under the Espionage Act but also a real risk of serious human rights violations due to detention conditions that could amount to torture or other ill-treatment,” Amnesty International tweeted.
Julian remains persecuted and the persecution takes place with very little attention. Susan Sarandon rightly speaks out and she's trashed with ''no one cares'' and other Tweets. It's because hatred of Julian is bi-partisan. Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) reminds:
Assange ran afoul of four different U.S. presidents, republicans and democrats alike. Wikileaks revealed war crimes committed during the George W. Bush administration in their Iraq War Logs and Afghanistan War Logs. Private Chelsea Manning leaked the Collateral Murder video, which shows the deaths of civilians, including two Reuters reporters, as they were gunned down by a U.S. army helicopter crew in 2007.
Collateral Murder was released in 2010 when Barack Obama was president. All of the purported differences between democrats and republicans disappear when U.S. hegemony is in need of protection. Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, confirmed that Assange was under investigation. While the Justice Department ultimately chose not to indict, they laid the groundwork for Donald Trump to make Assange a political prisoner. Obama’s unprecedented use of the Espionage Act sent other whistleblowers to jail and gave Trump license to get his hands on Assange. As always, Joe Biden follows Trump policy and he continues the Assange persecution.
The Trump administration built on the work of the Obama DOJ and secured a 17-count indictment in 2018, with charges that could result in a 175-year sentence. Of course they didn’t stop with criminal charges, which were useless as long as the Ecuadorian government gave Assange sanctuary in its London embassy. The Trump administration secured a $4 billion IMF loan for Ecuador, just one month before Assange’s protections were lifted. The timing of the transaction and the arrest were clearly not coincidental.
It isn’t surprising that presidents wage war against the truth tellers of the world. What is especially disheartening is the way that journalists have abandoned Assange and turned into U.S. government spokespeople if they discuss his case at all.
Media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and The Guardian worked with Assange for years, printing Wikileaks revelations on a regular basis. Yet they have said little in his defense ever since he was arrested on April 11, 2019. Neither have the liberal elites, who parrot the falsehood that Assange is responsible for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat. According to democratic propagandists, Russian operatives hacked the Democratic National Committee computers and gave a trove of embarrassing emails to Wikileaks. Hillary Clinton even refers to the organization as “Russian Wikileaks” just in case anyone forgot to blame others for her political debacle.
Of course, Wikileaks received the DNC documents the same way they received all others. A whistleblower leaked the material and the rest is history. Except history didn’t turn out as most people predicted. Hillary Clinton lost, in large part because of the corrupt behaviors that Assange revealed.
The DNC revelations were as big a threat as the war logs. Assange exposed how the Clinton campaign amplified Trump, in a mistaken belief that he would be the easiest republican to defeat. They also proved that the primary process was rigged against Bernie Sanders, who would have been the better candidate. The revelations had to be squelched and the need to turn Assange into a scapegoat only intensified over time. Russiagate was the means of vilification and made him persona non grata with people who might have been his defenders.
The Collateral Murder video shows the killing of two Iraqis who were employed by Reuters in Baghdad. One would think that some professional courtesy would be extended to their memories, if only for appearance sake. But that isn’t how corporate media operate. They work on behalf of the state and they conveniently forget their past relationship with Wikileaks and the killings of their colleagues so that they might stay in the good graces of the people prosecuting Assange.
Ultimately the U.S. and U.K. couldn’t be bad actors at all if powerful media organizations behaved like independent entities and not as an arm of the state. Assange has no influential friends and sits in Belmarsh prison, having suffered a stroke on October 27, 2021. His physical and mental health deteriorate while unscrupulous people in London and Washington decide his fate.
If you're someone committed to truth and a free press, you speak out on behalf of Julian Assange. If you're a partisan junkie addicted to politicians, you stay slient or, worse, you smear and attack Julian and those who support him. Tonight, Julian will be the focus of a live stream. Katie Halper Tweets:
Julian Assange exposed some of the US government's crime in Iraq. The truth is, Iraqis an active crime scene. The US government has destroyed the country and continues to do so. The people suffer and the White House -- whomever occupies it -- always wants to 'celebrate' the great results of the (ongoing) war. There are no great results.
It's a land of orphans and widows.
The corrupt government 00 installed by the US government -- does damn little to help the Iraqi people while doing a great deal to harm them. ARAB WEEKLY reports:
Half of the families living in drought-affected areas of Iraq need humanitarian food aid, the Norwegian Refugee Council said in a study released on Thursday.
Experts have warned that record low rainfall, compounded by climate change, is threatening social and economic disaster in war-scarred Iraq.
The NRC said that its research shows that "one in two families in drought-affected regions require food assistance because of drought, while one in five do not have sufficient food for everyone in the family".
The NGO based its study on interviews in 2,806 homes across seven provinces, among them Anbar in the west, Basra in the south and the north's Nineveh.
These three are traditionally considered to be the breadbasket of Iraq but have been hit hard by the crisis.
The United Nations says that about one-third of Iraq's population lives in poverty, despite the country's oil wealth.
NRC's Jan Egeland Tweets"
Insufficient water and inadequate feed or disease over the past six months led to the loss of 37 per cent of their cattle, which pushed the average monthly income in six out of seven provinces surveyed below the monthly survival threshold.
Many people are seeking better chances in cities. In the past 30 days, a family member of one in 15 households surveyed had migrated.
“Many of those had been in displacement at least once before, or had just returned home,” the agency said.
Forty-five per cent of people aged 15 to 24 had left their areas, while 38 per cent had lost a job.
IRA OIL REPORT'S Lizzie Porter Tweets:
Lizzie also Tweets:
The following sites updated: